Sunday, April 6, 2014

Eureka! Or Should I Scream Passaic?

I have been hunting for the New Jersey session laws for the Revolutionary and Articles of Confederation period online for some time.  ("Session laws" is the term of art that legal scholars use to refer to the statutes passed into law by each legislative session.)  I was able to find Samuel Allinson's Acts of the General Assembly of the Province of New-Jersey (1776), which is a compilation of all the laws actually still in effect from the period 1703 to 1776, through scholar.google.com.  I was able to find Acts of the Council and General Assembly of the State of New-Jersey (1784), which includes all the session laws passed 1776 through 1783, again through scholar.google.com.

I knew that the subsequent session laws had names such as Acts of the ninth General Assembly of the state of New-Jersey, and some libraries had either printed copies, or microfiche -- but none were near by.  I kept working on my Google-Fu, because I really do not want to do any unnecessary traveling for this project.  And here it is: Rutgers University has the New Jersey session laws for this period scanned.  They are not text searchable, but the quality of OCR scanning for a lot of document of this period is not all that spectacular, and I am being paid to do a thorough job of finding a particular category of statutes, not a problem.

2 comments:

Sigivald said...

I knew that the subsequent session laws had names such as Acts of the ninth General Assembly of the state of New-Jersey, and some libraries had either printed copies, or microfiche -- but none were near by.

If you hadn't found scans online, I'd suggest asking if they can get the books or fiche via ILL...

Clayton Cramer said...

ILL sometimes is unable to borrow these rare books, and often, libraries won't lend fiche. This was a problem for New Jersey.